The chances of the NCAA punishing Duke over the Lance Thomas jewelry case just got a lot more slim. Thomas and the jeweler who sued him for defaulting on a $67,800 payment have reached a settlement, according to the Raleigh News Observer. Back in 2009, Thomas bought $97,800 worth of custom jewelry from Raefello & Co. jewelers in Manhattan. He put down a $30,000 down payment (in cash) and signed an agreement to pay back the remaining $67,800 within 15 days. He didn’t, and the jewelers sued in January 2012.
The story made national news earlier this month, fueling speculation that the NCAA might go after Duke and Thomas on the matter, but that would require the cooperation of Raefello & Co., who declined to speak to NCAA investigators last week. Now, with a hefty settlement in hand, they have no reason to talk. How did Thomas get $30,000 in cash for the down payment? Who knows. Who paid the rest of the loan? Doesn’t matter. With no one talking, case closed.
Pete Thamel couldn’t be reached for comment. (Apparently cell phone service in Cal’s trash bins isn’t very good.)